EuroCup Women semi-final first leg success for Sony Athinaikos and Nadezhda Orenburg
There are no French players involved in the final four of the EuroCup Women this season. Lattes Montpellier fell in the eighth-final to K. V. Imperial AEL while USO Mondeville were eliminated in the quarter-final by Saarlouis Royals.
Candice Wiggins fired in a game high 25 points to help Sony Athinaikos take a 6-point lead (64-58) going into the second leg of their match against Dynamo Kursk.
Wiggins went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, picked up 3 assists and pulled down 6 rebounds in her player-of-the-match performance.
Sheana Mosch's game high 17 points helped Russian club side Nadezhda Orenburg win on the road against Saarlouis Royals (62-56).
René Spandauw gave his players a day off on Monday as part of the preparation for this EuroCup Women semi-final. However he was not very happy with the way the match started.
Nadezhda led (15-2) with just over four minutes played.
Spandauw's players then used up a lot of energy in bringing the score down to finish the first quarter trailing by 6 points (14-20).
The Nadezhda trio of Sheana Mosch (right) and the Belarus internationals Tatyana Troina and Anastasiya Veremeenko kept the scoreboard ticking as the guests moved 12 points clear (28-16) with 14 minutes played.
Petra Manakova saved the hosts from a total collapse with a trey.
Her action woke up her team-mates: Candyce Bingham and Stina Barnert rediscovered their scoring touch to reduce the deficit at the break (26-32).
After the interval Nadezdah were soon in their stride and led by 10 points (38-28). Yet they were unable to build on their advantage whereas the hosts drew level for the first time (40-40) with 28 minutes played.
Nadezhda managed to go ahead again through Olga Ovcharenko to go into the last quarter with a slim advantage (44-42).
Saarlouis Royals drew level on two occasions during the first five minutes of the final quarter (52-52) without ever taking the lead.
Mosch's show started with two trademark drives to the baskets which put Nadezhda back in control (56-52) with 3:30 left to play.
Barnert connected from the land of many for the hosts. Yet Mosch ended her scoring show with a 3-point play for her last points of the game (59-52) with just under three minutes to play.
Saarlouis finished the game strongly but undid their work by gifting Katsiaryna Snytsina two trips to the free-throw line.
Nadezhda ended up winning the first leg of this EuroCup Women semi-final (62-56).